REPORT OF APRIL 20TH, 2013 EDO STATE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTION
Edo Youth Congress (E.Y.C) is an umbrella body of all Edo Youth both at home and Diaspora with mandate to ensure the socio-cultural and economic transformation/ interest of Edo people. As part of its objectives and Modus operandi, the organization advocates the need to promote values amongst citizens especially the youths, commends good initiatives of those who are saddled with leadership responsibilities in public institution and also renders support in whatever sphere, to ensure that society becomes a better place for all and sundry.
Concerning the Edo State local Government election held 20th April, 2013 across the 18 local Government areas. Edo Youth congress was accredited by EDSIEC to observe the electoral process.
Considering these responsibilities given by EDSIEC, Edo Youth Congress members visited
EDSIEC headquarter in Benin on 19th April, 2013 to observe how electoral materials were distributed. We observed that the Ovia South West E.O, Mr Idahosa Jimoh Andrew was replaced by Mr. Fred Obaretin in less than 24hrs to the election. When we contacted Mr. Idahosa Jimoh Andrew, he told us that he was replaced because he refused to sign when he was only given electoral materials without the sensitive materials and was told to go and conduct the election. He also told us that he will be retiring in the next 2yrs and would not want to dent his image. When the chairman of the commission was contacted, he told us that he was not aware of his removal that he will investigate it.
The Youth and party agents from various Local Government were all at the Commission searching vehicles coming in and going out of the compound because some of the party agents alleged that the electoral materials were being taking to a non-designated venue for the election.
ESAKO EAST L.G.A
Edo Youth Congress local observers were at Etsako East. The electoral materials came at about 10:40am. We observed that there was no Supervisory Presiding Officer. When the E.O. Mr. Audu S.J was consulted, he confirmed that the Returning Officer was given dual responsibilities of the SPO and Returning Officer.
The materials was shared to the Returning Officer for various wards but the cubicle for thumb printing provided was left behind.
The Returning Officers in Ward 3 left Agenebode Police Station at 1:45pm without the consent of the E.O and the security agent. The D.C.O. of Agenebode Police Station complained about it and a call was placed to him but he never returned back. When we visited the various units in Ward 3, we met Elders and aggrieved Youth waiting for election materials at 2:30pm. When we contacted the Youth Chairman of Ward 3 Vincent Ugame in Uzanu Village, a Range Rover sport drove in and the driver called him not to disclose any information to observers. We also contacted Ward 3 women leader Mrs. Margret in Unit 3 and 4 was aggrieved and claimed that the materials had been hijacked because Unit 3 is where materials is being distributed to other unit.
In Ward 1 Unit 4, the no of accreditation was over bloated to 783 in less than 1hr when the people in the polling unit were not even up to 50.
We also observed that materials got to various polling unit in Ward 6, 7 and 8 without result sheets.
At the various polling unit we visited at Etsako Central, accreditation and voting was going on simultaneously because the materials arrived late.
We confirmed that result sheet was not given to the Presiding Officers in the various units. Mr. Solomon a correspondent from FRCN can attest to all what happened in Esako central.
Election did not hold when we arrived Esan West at Ekpoma Police Station. The reasons are:-
1. Materials arrived very late
2. As at when it arrived, materials were not up to one quarter of registered voter
3. The result sheets for Councillors where not also available
A report from our member, an eye witness confirmed that St.Paul Anglican Grammar School was a center for thumb printing by hoodlums that diverted the ballot papers and result sheet was carried away by hoodlums in Ebilo market square.
Materials were distributed in Etsako West without sensitive materials (result sheets). The Youths got angry in most of the polling units and started protesting.
OVIA SOUTH WEST
There were a lot of irregularities as election materials were distributed without result sheets. In Ward 9, materials were diverted to new roads and a councillorship candidate alleged to be P.D.P was severely beaten. There was no election in Ugbogwi ward
The election was free and fair in the various polling unit we visited in Uhumwonde Local Government Area.
The election was free and fair in various polling units we visited in Egor Local Government Area.
Some wards started accreditation as early as 8:30am (Oredo Ward 1 Oba-Akenzua Cultural Centre) where only Labour party agent was represented. In some Wards, accreditation started 10:30am in the absence of sensitive election materials (WARD 10-Uwah Primary School) where all the partly agents were represented (P.D.P. A.C.N & L.P). In ward 6, Ministry of Education Oredo, at about 2pm, accreditation did not start even when EDSIEC officials were on ground, when they were contacted, they confirmed that the sensitive materials were not included. Some ACN member were of the opinion that accreditation should start before the arrival of sensitive materials, while PDP and LP objected on the ground that all the voting materials should be completed. When the election materials arrived at 3:00pm, EDSIEC Officials said that they were mandated from the Headquarters to conduct Chairmanship election without Councillorship election. The opposition parties did not agree with that, hence they started a peaceful protest to show their resentment on the late decision of EDSIEC. When the E.O was